Chris Gianatti Director

Chris worked for a number of years with Corrs before moving in-house to Telstra as HR Legal Counsel for the “Factory” (covering Telstra’s back of house operations including the field workforce). In that role he was also a key strategic advisor to Telstra’s COEs for Workplace Relations, Talent&OD and Remuneration, as well as also being a major advisor to Payroll, Vendor Management and Corporate Security on employment issues.  Prior to joining KHQ, Chris was a partner at a national workplace relations boutique based in Melbourne.

“The quality of his advice is second to none. He’s always pragmatic, commercially focused and able to communicate the advice in a manner that the business can comprehend.”
– Chambers  & Partners – Asia Pacific 2022

Chris’s encyclopaedic case law knowledge is one of the best I’ve come across. His ability to provide legal solutions ‘on the fly’ is definitely a stand out, but the complex written work acknowledges the audience is the business, not other lawyers necessarily.”
– Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2021

Chris’ expertise spans the full range of industrial and employment matters including:

  • project IR, enterprise bargaining and workplace strategy
  • major disputes and industrial litigation (including good faith litigation, right of entry, protected action and pickets)
  • corporate performance, policy, change management and productivity
  • executive contracts, remuneration and restraints
  • employment litigation (including adverse action, unfair dismissal, bullying and EEO)
  • OHS and incident prosecution defences, and
  • workplace surveillance and privacy.

Chris regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission, as well as in the Federal and State courts nationally. While based in Melbourne, his practice often takes him to Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, with his major clients spread across a range of industries including resources, infrastructure, construction, banking, manufacturing, transport, media, professional services and retail.

Client feedback typically emphasises Chris’ value-driven approach based on genuinely different insight, simple advice and practical outcomes-focused steps.


Chris has received the following recognition:

  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific:  Leading Individual – Band 1 – Labour & Employment (Australia) – 2015-2022.
  • Chambers & Partners – Asia Pacific Guide 2019-2022 – Employment Law.
  • Doyles Guide – Recommended – Leading Employment Lawyers (Employer Representation) Victoria (2018-2021).
  • The Best Lawyers™ in Australia for Labour & Employment Law (since 2018) and Employee Benefits Law (2022).
  • Lexology Client Choice: Winner – Employment & Benefits (Australia) – 2015-2017.


KHQ Lawyers - Chris Gianatti - Chambers & Partners - Employment KHQ Lawyers - Chris Gianatti - Legal 500 Asia Pacific Leading Individual Employment 2022 KHQ Lawyers - Best Lawyers 2022 KHQ Lawyers - Leading Employment Law (Employer Representation) Law Firm

Latest News & Insights

Federal Court upholds decision re removal of labour hire worker

Posted By and on 7/12/21 at 1:59 PM

Last week, the Full Federal Court (Bromwich, O’Callaghan and Colvin JJ) issued its decision in relation to the matter of Johnson v CUB Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 219, which concerned an application for judicial review of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to quash a reinstatement decision by the Fair Work Commission … Read more

Safety Update

Posted By and on 20/09/21 at 1:38 PM

We find ourselves in the yoyo of “snap” and extended lockdowns across the county, and managing the risks to worker mental health in both an employment and OHS laws context is real and prevalent for businesses during this pandemic. Recent announcements from safety regulators make it clear that we can expect to see focused inquiry … Read more

The COVID-19 Vaccination Update – Can you mandate the COVID-19 vaccine at your workplace?

Posted By and on 10/09/21 at 2:16 PM

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia gains momentum, with more than 30% of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated,[1] businesses are asking whether it’s possible to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace. In jurisdictions where workplace manslaughter offences operate, there are issues to consider in respect of both mandating the vaccine … Read more

Proposed new laws to address workplace sexual harassment

Posted By and on 15/07/21 at 11:50 AM

Snapshot of the Federal Government’s proposed new laws to address sexual harassment and the AHRC’S governance recommendations for ASX senior leaders & investors On 24 June 2021, the Federal Government released its Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 (Bill) which details proposed changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) … Read more

Redundancy – Court rules on ‘ordinary and customary turnover of labour’ exception

Posted By on 17/08/20 at 6:11 PM

In a significant decision, Rares and Collier JJ (with whom Rangiah J “broadly” agreed) have held in the case of Berkeley Challenge Pty Ltd v United Voice [2020] FCAFC 113 (Decision) (available here) that long-standing employees dismissed when long-standing contracts that had been the basis for the work that they were employed to do ended … Read more

Workplace Relations – COVID-19 FAQs

Posted By and on 24/03/20 at 10:00 PM

COVID-19 will cause significant disruption to your workforce, if it hasn’t already, and we have over the last few weeks been regularly speaking with many of you about particular challenges that are arising as the situation progresses. Managing the increasing levels of public anxiety alone requires strong leadership and clear messaging to maintain stability in … Read more